Follow this link for a PDF of the Summer 2019 Newsletter.
If you would like to be added to our newsletter email distribution list please email Angela McMenamy and we will let you know when the next issue is available to read.
Laura Lundy, Co-Director of our Centre for Children’s Rights (CCR), works to ensure that children are involved in decisionmaking in a range of international arena, in particular the work of the United Nations, through what has become known as the ‘Lundy model’ of child participation.
The model was developed in the wake of a study for the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and has been used by governments and organisations at national and international level, including the European Commission (EC), UNICEF, World Health Organisation and World Vision, to inform their approach to children’s participation in policy and practice.
The model’s four-part framework (space-voice-audience-influence) has been applied in scores of research projects across the world and has generated a sea-change in global understanding of child rights-based participation for policy and practice. It has been adopted by the Irish government in the first ever European national strategy on child participation and is used widely by policymakers and practitioners throughout Ireland, including the Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs, TUSLA, the Education Inspectorate, Oberstown Detention Centre and YMCA Ireland.
Laura trained and advised the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on conducting its own child participation and the CCR undertook ground-breaking input into how the UNCRC produces advice for governments. Laura was an invited speaker at the EC’s child forum, a gathering of politicians, policy-makers and practitioners, where she presented on children’s participation for democratic decisionmaking and made a case for Votes at 16, children’s councils with dedicated budgets in every city and greater representation of children in conferences about childhood. Laura Lundy and Bronagh Byrne provided advice and training on child participation for the Children’s Commissioner in Jersey. Laura and Michelle Templeton are working with BBC Children in Need to develop an approach to participation in their new national programme on children’s mental well-being - A Million and Me.
Tell us a little about yourself.
As a single mother of five, I work part-time as a Business Development Manager for a local company and study the BA Criminology and Sociology fulltime at Queen’s University. On arriving at Queen's I quickly developed a passion for academia and made many friends among staff and students.
Why choose this course and Queen’s?
Coming from a working class background, I was aware of many social injustices and wanted to move into a career track that would let me contribute to tackling them. While completing the Access Foundation Course, I discovered Queen’s offered a Joint Honours Degree in Criminology and Sociology with fascinating content relevant for my career path. My mother was a Queen’s Sociology graduate and I’m proud to follow in her footsteps. I often sit in the beautiful grounds soaking up the atmosphere, feeling deeply privileged to study at such a prestigious institution.
What is your experience of the course?
I’ve gained new perspectives on many issues relevant to modern society. The Criminology and Sociology programme has a diverse range of topics. The interactive course structure is stimulating and challenging and smoothly facilitates engagement with the course content on numerous levels.
What’s your experience of the facilities and support?
The support goes well beyond my expectations. I benefit immensely from expert knowledge and guidance, in both my academic pursuits and my School Representative role. The commitment of staff to my academic development has been inspirational and has cultivated my desire to emulate similar qualities. I really enjoy the learning environment and have adopted the University’s core values of excellence and integrity in my approach to my studies. The facilities and resources are exceptional and provide everything I need to succeed. My favourite place on campus is the library.
How do you find the student experience?
There are so many activities taking place across campus and in the School. I really enjoyed the Inspiring Leaders programme, the Q-Step research work placement, the Sociological Cinema and the numerous seminars, conferences and workshops. There is a lot of scope for interaction and socialising with students and staff.
What’s next for you?
I feel a real sense of belonging at Queen’s so I have applied for the Master’s in Social Science Research Methods and intend to complete PhD and postdoctoral qualifications. I hope to pursue a career in academia and research, focusing on social injustices.
For more information about our degrees see www.qub.ac.uk/ssesw
Campbell Centre UK & Ireland is hosted by the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) under our Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI). It promotes positive social and economic change through the production and use of systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy and practice.
In February this year, the Campbell Centre UK & Ireland hosted the What Works Summit – Early Years at Queen’s University in partnership with Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) and the Alliance for Useful Evidence. The event brought together researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to meet four of the ten UK What Works Centres: WCPP, Early Intervention Foundation, Education Endowment Fund and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
February’s event was part of a series of summits in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales exploring how What Works Centres create, share and use high quality evidence to inform decision-making in policy and practice. Paul Connolly (CESI) welcomed more than 80 local stakeholders who came along to engage with the What Works Centres, to share knowledge and help shape the early years research agenda. Local practitioners, such as Sure Start manager Seána Talbot, discussed the successful implementation of a breastfeeding project which benefitted from evaluation advice from CESI colleague Jennifer Hanratty (front row, second right).
What Works summits are part of the Campbell Centre’s work to build strong relationships with research institutions and knowledge brokers across the UK and Ireland. The discussions and connections which surfaced during the day feature in our blog at http://bit.ly/2Wm1nL0. The next What Works summit at Queen’s (14 May) is on youth mental health. The event is open to practitioners, teachers and policymakers with an interest in youth mental health. For more information see the CESI website at http://bit.ly/2HZHYM8
School of SSESW academic Karen Winter delivered the keynote speech at the third anniversary of Vietnam Social Work Day, held in Thu Dau Mot University (TDMU), Vietnam, on 25 March.
Over subsequent days, she delivered lectures, workshops and training events for social work academics and undergraduate and postgraduate students at TDMU focussing on: her work with social work, education and sociology academics from Edinburgh, Sussex, Cardiff and Oxford; with European academic partners from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Romania and Republic of Ireland; and internationally with UNICEF and Ain Shams University, Egypt.
Against a rapidly changing social and economic context, in 2010 the Vietnamese government approved that social work could be officially classified as a profession, raising the profile of its training, job opportunities and career pathways. TDMU has offered a four year degree in social work training since 2011. Keen to build capacity in teaching, training and research, and to strengthen international links, TDMU invited Karen to share insights gained through collaboration with NGOs including Voice of Young People in Care, Barnardo’s, Irish Foster Carer Association, Fostering Network Northern Ireland, statutory organisations including English and Welsh Local Authorities, the Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency and Health and Social Care Trusts and international academic institutions from 33 countries represented in the European Social Work Research Association.
Karen delivered talks on social work training, the legalities of child protection, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in research and practice, and innovation and ethical issues in research with young children. Dr Le Thi Hoang Lieu, Director of Social Work at TDMU, said: ‘Karen’s expertise has been invaluable in thinking about how we train, research and publish in social work. We look forward to developing our relationship with Karen and with Queen’s University through mutually beneficial research and teaching opportunities’.
School of SSESW colleagues Amanda Slevin and Veronique Altglas, with John Barry (School of HAPP), worked with the Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts in Belfast on a special sustainability and climate change event as part of the Duncairn’s ‘Fifty’ series. Featuring music and arts, the Fifty event on 12 April involved creative exploration of some of the biggest socio-ecological challenges facing society.
First year Social Policy and Social Work students performed ‘Anna’s Journey’, a new drama written by students Alexandra Popoff, Rosie Graves, Colleen Petticrew and Roxanne Elliot with their lecturer Amanda Slevin, based on learning about climate change, sustainability and environment in first year Social Policy modules.
In studying Social Policy, students tackle major policy problems by applying core concepts from social science to intractable social problems such as gender inequality, eldercare, children’s rights and climate change. They gain knowledge and understanding of contemporary government policies, their impacts and how to achieve Social Policy Students at the Duncairn improvements. In the case of climate change, students connect national policies and international agreements with local impacts and practical solutions, making the ‘global local’. The diversity of interests, skills and topics covered in Social Policy means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, criminal justice, social work), private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources), the community and voluntary sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, youth support worker, charity fundraiser).
Our Social Policy students’ work with organisations like the Duncairn Arts Centre provides opportunities for active engagement with key social issues and experience of settings where social policy is the focus for making a social difference.
For more information contact Dr Amanda Slevin at email@example.com or tel +44 (0)28 9097 3160
ARK is Northern Ireland’s social policy hub, jointly hosted by the School of SSESW and Ulster University. It provides an important record of public opinion through, for example, the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, an annual attitudes survey recording public opinion about key social and political issues.
‘Our Life and Times through the Archives’ is an exciting and innovative collaboration bringing together ARK’s survey archive and the BBC Rewind archive, a database of digitised BBC content. The project explored attitudes over 30 years to samesex relationships and same-sex marriage.
Footage from TV programmes was used to bring the survey data to life and to illustrate the shift towards more liberal attitudes, as observed in the survey data. As well as identifying and analysing relevant survey statistics, Paula Devine and Gemma Carney provided a social science perspective exploring the link between public attitudes and the contemporary social and political context. The Queering the Family multimedia storyline is available on the BBC website at http://bit.ly/2G8dc1W
Our new International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (IPGCE) programme is a professional preparation course that aims to enable students to develop the understanding, abilities and competencies needed to teach in schools around the world and in a range of school types. It is delivered entirely online and encompasses school experience and online teaching and learning.
The IPGCE helps students develop a sound knowledge and understanding of current thinking in their chosen specialist area and ensures that international initial teacher education is rooted in theory, research and practice. Students will demonstrate both their ability in the classroom and their ability to critically reflect on their own classroom practice and current theories around teaching and learning. The programme has a clear emphasis on acquiring key teaching competences and students are expected to develop the competences both during their online engagement and while on school experience. In addition, there is a series of general lectures, designed to introduce students to a wide range of educational theory and policy matters, and a variety of online tutorials, workshops, online and schoolbased activities to ensure they have a broad understanding of educational issues and practices.
The professional aspects of this online course are designed to enable students to develop a variety of teaching, communication and organisational skills within a broad set of values which focus on the importance of good educational principles and practice. The academic aspects provide the intellectual framework which enables students to analyse, among other things, the role of education, the nature of learning, the methods of teaching and the interrelationships between pupils and teachers and schools and society.
More information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/ssesw
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) colleagues are running this year’s Summer School on 3-5 July at Queen’s University, for Year 12 and Year 13 students who are interested in studying social sciences at university. The theme for the summer school is Visualising the Social World. By learning how to present stories with graphical representations of data and how to distinguish between good and bad examples of data visualisations, students can gain social data skills and experience sought by employers in areas such as social research, marketing, financial services and economic and social policy in order to help analyse and solve real world problems.
Pupils can learn more about important and interesting topics at the summer school such as families, religion, crime and deviance, social inequality, ethnic diversity and politics. They will also have the chance to chat to staff and current students and find out about study options with us in SSESW. The summer school is funded by the Queen’s University Q-Step Centre, which is hosted in SSESW and is part of a UK-wide programme to increase the quantitative skills of social science students. Lunch and refreshments will be provided each day and a number of travel bursaries are available (terms and conditions apply).
Students at last year’s summer school at Queen’s University liked:
‘The range of different topics covered and the ability to choose a research question from a large range so it could be something you were genuinely interested in.’
‘The new skills that we have gained on the programme.’
‘It gave a good insight into what’s taught in the social science related courses.’
Parents, teachers and students can see more information about the Social Sciences Summer School on our website at www.qub.ac.uk/sites/QStep
Professor Gavin Davidson was appointed in May 2018 as our first Praxis Chair of Social Care, a research collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Praxis Care, a major provider of services for adults and children with a learning disability, mental ill health, acquired brain injury and autism. The Chair is a new and innovative post supporting Praxis Care to develop services, inform policy and set standards for practice. It focuses primarily on the effectiveness of services and developing the Praxis Model of Care to improve the outcomes and experiences of service users.
My main interests are in mental health and social justice, partly due to some of my family having had mental health problems. This interest was further developed through working in a night shelter in London in the late 1980s, when a lot of people were being discharged from long-stay hospitals. I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics to try to better understand how systems work and how they might be changed. Social work seemed to provide the opportunity to continue examining mental health and social justice so I completed my training as a social worker in Liverpool in 1995. Coincidentally, my first post-qualifying post was as a support worker for Praxis.
I then worked in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust for 12 years, as a Community Mental Health Team social worker, out of hours Approved Social Worker, project manager and team leader. My work tended to focus on people regarded as presenting a relatively high level of risk but who were reluctant to engage with services. I was able to explore this aspect of mental health services further through a Research and Development Division Doctoral Fellowship. I enjoyed the experience of research and it seemed to open up opportunities to try to inform the development of policy and practice. I moved to Queen’s in 2008 and my research interests remain in the area of mental health, specifically: the effectiveness of services; inequalities; trauma; coercion; and mental health/mental capacity legislation.
My main teaching role is to help coordinate the Approved Social Work Programme, which focuses on mental health law and is a partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. I was one of the social work representatives involved in developing the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and I’m keen to contribute to research on how it will be implemented. I’m the Strand Lead for What Works for Communities in our Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation which is enabling positive connections across the University and with other sectors. I’m also excited about this collaboration with Praxis Care, as it is an organisation that is actively encouraging and open to research.
The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) is proud to hold a bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to the advancement of gender equality for our staff and students. The team working on our Action Plan comprises students and staff. It targets School culture and practices, career development and progression, academic progression for students and work/life balance. In addition to adapting School policies to support this work, we periodically survey our staff and students on workplace culture, ensuring that gender equality awareness is evident in our approach to education and research.
SSESW marked International Women’s Day in March with an exhibition, in collaboration with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, showcasing research on gender inequalities. It featured work by Sirin Sung (SSESW) on women’s experiences with balancing paid work and family responsibilities in Northern Ireland, South Korea, China and the USA. Sirin worked with the Northern Ireland Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network and the Northern Ireland Council for Racial Equality in carrying out this research. It has received support from Queen’s and the Leverhulme Trust and led to Sirin’s appointment as a visiting scholar at Sun-Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China.
The School also screened four short films on gender inequality in India to mark International Women’s Day, followed by a discussion led by Social Policy research student Aishwarya Patil, Sirin Sung (SSESW) and Sian Barber (Film Studies). We hosted Sisters Inside: Why is women’s imprisonment a feminist issue? in collaboration with the QUB Gender Network. Supported by Reclaim the Agenda and featuring talks by Gillian McNaull (SSESW) and Phil Scraton (Law), the event focused on social injustice issues arising from women’s imprisonment. Speakers argued that women’s imprisonment is often a disproportionate and inappropriate response to problems generated by poverty, racism and gender-based violence.
Weight management is a global priority due to its potential to prevent chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Katerina Dounavi completed a systematic review of studies for the worldleading American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examining the efficacy of mobile health technology as a facilitator of behaviour change, aiming to inform treatment and policy.
People with autism are much more likely to die from drowning than the general population. A systematic review of effective behavioural interventions for water safety and swim skills was conducted by PhD candidate Catriona (Tia) Martin and supervisor Karola Dillenburger for Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. findings show that behaviourally based interventions can improve water safety and swim skills in children with autism.
In February, Laura Lundy visited Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, where she gave a keynote talk addressing a controversial issue - whether the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few when a child with disabilities is disruptive in a classroom.
In March, Bronagh Byrne visited the University of Sydney where she led a Masterclass for PhD students on education and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and led a workshop on comparative approaches to disability rights. She also presented at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, unpacking the meaning of inclusive education.
Doctoral student Craig Goodall received an EdD for his work on children’s rights, inclusion and autism and Michelle McCoy received hers for a study on the fairness of examination accommodations for children with additional needs.
Berni Kelly gave an invited presentation to practitioners, managers and researchers at the Children in Care Research Forum at Trinity College Dublin in March on key findings from her studies of disabled children living in, and leaving, care in Northern Ireland.
At the first Africa Network of Care-Leaving Research workshop and conference in Johannesburg in January, Berni Kelly presented the findings of her study on disabled young people leaving care and her model of peer research with care experienced young people. Scroll down to 'Young People Leaving Care in Africa' news item for more information about the event.
Anne Campbell, David Hayes and Michelle Butler are working on an evaluation of the new family drug courts in Northern Ireland with the Department of Justice and Department of Health (Northern Ireland). The study is looking at outcomes for parents, primary carers and children who participated in the programme over the last 12 months, including family reunification, reduction in parental substance use and partnership working.
The DARN team, including research fellow Aisling Mc Laughlin, was awarded a grant by Alcohol Change UK for a rapid review of Alcohol Use Disorders and Mental Health. The review outcome is expected to be in the public domain by July this year. It is part of a series of five rapid reviews on alcohol issues proposed by Alcohol Change UK.
Anne Campbell and Kathryn Higgins are presenting their research on Variations and Determinants of Novel Psychoactive Substance Use: Implications for Policy and Practice at the National Institute on Drug Abuse International Forum in San Antonio, USA, in June.
The seamlessCARE platform is the culmination of a three-year Marie Curie/ASSISTID postdoctoral research Fellowship held by Dr Aviva Cohen, hosted in our Centre for Behaviour Analysis (CBA) and supervised by Karola Dillenburger (Director of CBA) and Lizbeth Goodman (University College Dublin). The project addresses the emerging crisis caused by a lack of future planning by ageing carers of loved ones with intellectual disability, learning disability, autism spectrum disorders, acquired brain injury, dementia and a range of other complex needs. It also tackles the inadequacies of paper-based and digital care planning tools used in caring and therapeutic organisations.
The seamlessCARE platform enables care givers to take photographs, record short videos and make notes about the medical, social and communication issues for each care recipient. Parents and guardians can receive an alert about the updates. The platform creates an accessible digital archive that can be viewed by everyone who interacts with that person, ensuring continuity of care while providing privacy, where needed, through password protection. Through a process of inclusive design, Aviva created a user-friendly interface that can be operated by anyone, including those with little technical knowhow. Aviva tested her archive model as an iOS platform and gathered feedback at the design phase from over 200 participants including family carers and health care professionals.
The final version of the seamlessCARE platform will also include a tool that records some of the vocalisations made by non-verbal people and translates these sounds into text that carers can read. In addition, it will include sophisticated data analytics relating to those communications. The Irish government has invested in the seamlessCARE project and Aviva is seeking further investment to extend its use.
Our Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT) is funded by the Department of Education and offers a range of services to teachers and learners of modern languages in schools in Northern Ireland.
In February, NICILT ran Francofest, a unique opportunity for Key Stage 3 pupils of French. The event was attended by pupils from 30 schools who set up and ran their own tourist information offices and trade stands and who were judged by independent Frenchspeaking judges. Francofest encourages young learners to use their marketing and communication skills in a new context. It introduces them to the world of work and higher education and develops their rapport with their peers in a fun and engaging way. The top prize this year went to the team from Wallace High School for their trade stand selling French pâtisseries.
NICILT ran the annual A-Level French, German and Spanish Debating Competitions in February and March and 26 schools took part. These events enhance and support linguistic skills examined at AS and A2 and provide an invaluable public-speaking experience for pupils. Strathearn School took home the NICILT Cup for German and Omagh Academy (pictured with NICILT’s Michelle Devenny, left) surpassed all expectations by taking home the top prizes for both French and Spanish.
In March, NICILT co-ordinated two Teacher Professional Learning events for 50 French and Spanish teachers in collaboration with the Institut Français UK and the Association of Spanish Language Schools in Andalusia. The French workshop focused on teaching French through music and the Spanish day helped develop teachers’ understanding of project-based learning as well as the ‘Escape Room’ and gamification concepts.
Dr Jennifer Roberts is a qualified teacher and taught in a number of schools in Northern Ireland before beginning her academic career in SSESW. Jennifer is a Lecturer in Education. She is the director of our International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (IPGCE) and the deputy director of the PGCE.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and ‘make a difference’. After completing my teacher training I worked in a variety of school settings. As a literacy specialist and special educational needs coordinator I developed a keen interest in reading development, especially for groups at risk of educational underachievement and I have carried these interests over to my research career. After completing a Master’s in Education I decided to complete a PhD at Queen’s to further my own academic interests and began looking at ways to tackle educational inequality and underachievement for specific groups of children and how we can measure difference or impact as researchers. I am interested in education, particularly the experiences of young children in primary school and how circumstances can impact their learning. I am interested in generating evidence about what works for children and young people. To this end, I have conducted and am involved in a number of randomised controlled trials of school and individual interventions. In order to further consolidate current knowledge and add to the evidence base, I am also involved in a number of systematic reviews looking at interventions on social and emotional issues as well as school-based issues such as homework.
One of the roles I really enjoy is my involvement in initial teacher education programmes. I am one of the deputy directors of the PGCE programme. This allows me to continue to develop and sustain links with schools in Northern Ireland which helps us to disseminate current research and good practice with our partner schools. As well as working on UK initial teacher education programmes I am passionate about international teacher education, including initial teacher education and continued professional development in an international context. Working internationally allows me to meet people from all over the world and ensures that our work in SSESW is world leading!
I have also been working with the Widening Participation unit at Queen’s and have trained student volunteers for homework clubs and volunteering programmes. This is a really rewarding part of our work and one where we can really see how transformative education can be for children and young people.
Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students really enjoyed a Careers in Teaching Mini Fair at Queen’s University in early March, where they met representatives from schools and recruitment agencies, both local and national, who are recruiting teachers for the next academic year. A panel of principals was available in the morning for students to quiz for insider knowledge and careers advice. Afterwards, a range of workshops on job searching and application skills was delivered by exhibitors.
The students heard fascinating talks from recent PGCE graduates Jayne McCourt (Down High School, Downpatrick), James Lennon (St Malachy’s High School, Castlewellan) and Michael O’Connell (Longstone Special School, Belfast). The graduates provided helpful insight from their own routes into employment and their career path since graduation. They gave this year’s students some excellent advice on job seeking, interviewing, the benefits of subbing as a means of seeing lots of teaching and management styles and what to expect during the early career stage for newly qualified teachers.
Read more about PGCE study with us at http://bit.ly/2C6qs5T. Applications for entry in September 2020 will close in November 2019.
A new book by School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work academic Ibrar Bhatt recounts how academic writing is changing in the contemporary university. Through detailed studies of writing in the daily life of academics in different disciplines and institutions, their use of, for example, the tools and technologies of writing and their approach to collaboration with others and engagement with social media, Academics Writing: The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation (ISBN 9780815385905) looks at how change is transforming what it means to be an academic and how, as a society, we produce academic knowledge. The book is key reading for anyone studying or researching writing, academic support and development within education and applied linguistics.
The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) partnered with the Department of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the Africa Network of Care-Leaving Researchers and Girls and Boys Town South Africa, a major provider of residential care, to hold the First Africa Care-Leaving Conference at UJ on 18 January.
The conference followed a three-day workshop with 37 care-leaving scholars from nine countries in Africa (Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe) and three countries from the global North (UK, USA and the Netherlands). The event was funded as a research capacity building event through a UK Department for the Economy - Global Challenge Research Fund Award, with additional support from the National Research Foundation South Africa.
The programme covered research design, data collection, including the use of peer researchers, data analysis, getting published and strategic planning for policy and practice impact. SSESW staff Berni Kelly, Gerry Marshall and John Pinkerton, along with care experienced peer researcher Seana Friel, contributed to the planning, the formal inputs and to chairing various sessions. Central to the workshop was ensuring that an African focus was maintained whilst being inclusive of the learning from other continents.
Ten of the workshop participants presented at the one day conference which was attended by over 200 people, mostly practising social workers and child and youth care workers in the Johannesburg area.
Berni Kelly, Co-Director of our Disability Research Network, contributed a UK perspective on the experiences of care leavers with disabilities. Gerry Marshall followed with a presentation on the use of care experienced young people as inspectors of services. Both presentations prompted considerable interest, discussion and contacts among conference participants.
In March, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social (SSESW) academic Paul McCafferty spent a week at Leuven University in Belgium, as part of a new Erasmus bilateral agreement he established.
During the trip, he was invited to speak at a student conference on children’s and young people’s rights in different national and cultural contexts. The focus of his talk, presented to second year Children and Youth Studies students in a variety of placements across Belgium, was the right of children looked after by the state to participate in decisions about their care.
During the visit, Paul enjoyed making connections with new colleagues from South Africa, Uganda, Brazil, Holland and Poland. Several areas of common interest emerged for possible future collaboration in teaching and research including child protection decision making, children’s participation in decisions about their care and social work student placements.
Paul commented: ‘The Erasmus scheme is an excellent vehicle for enhancing international relationships and for broadening the scope of research and teaching. It helps transcend territorial borders, to discover new approaches to teaching and research. The next stage is to establish student exchange trips, so that students studying at both institutions can begin to understand social work as an international profession. They will also benefit from being exposed to different cultures, political systems and social work practices, increasing their personal capacity to think globally and more diversely.’
Head of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Professor Carl Bagley, has co-edited a definitive reference book on educational ethnography, a research approach that studies education contexts through long-term immersion, engagement and participation of the researcher in the routine daily lives of people and their culture.
The Wiley Handbook of Ethnography of Education (ISBN: 978-1-118-93370-1) brings together leading international scholars and looks at ethnography in contrasting rural and urban contexts, place-based and virtual settings, single and multi-site explorations, as well as foundational and developmental ideas. Its aim is to inform and shape the current field of ethnography and education and to provide a comprehensive reference point for those engaged in academic study in this field.
Our Centre for Shared Education (CSE), with the Social Change Initiative, hosted an international symposium on Shared Education in December, to reflect on development and implementation of shared education in Northern Ireland and consider the transferability of the model to other divided jurisdictions.
The event at Queen’s brought together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from Northern Ireland and several divided societies where shared education has been introduced or there is interest in piloting the model. These included several Balkan states (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon. It considered the curriculum as a vehicle for advancing shared education’s objectives, the effectiveness of contact via shared education in changing attitudes, and the role and mechanisms of collaboration in divided societies.
Participants heard from policy-makers and school principals and provided an overview of their own regional context and the experience/potential of shared education. All involved in the event highlighted the value of sharing experience and insights with colleagues from a range of professional backgrounds and nationalities.
In January, CSE colleagues led a seminar on shared education in Pristina, Kosovo, where they are supporting peacebuilding by promoting collaboration between schools in a divided education system. The seminar included teachers from the Municipality of Kamenica, where shared education will be piloted, representatives from the British Council, the British Embassy and the Rochester Institute of Technology (Kosovo), colleagues from the Queen’s University Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations and key stakeholders from policy and practitioner bodies in Northern Ireland. The symposium built on work that has been ongoing between Queen’s and the Balkans since 2009 to connect networks of colleagues from different sectors and to share learning from the Northern Ireland experience of developing and delivering shared education.
In addition to our wide ranging seminar series (see http://bit.ly/2IqbV7Z), School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) colleagues lead important network activities in their respective fields, contributing to improving practice in local and global arenas. Their work with partners across many professions informs our activities at national and international levels and the recognition of our colleagues’ expertise reflects the importance and influence of that collaboration. The following are examples of just a few instances over recent months:
Eisenhower Fellowships has included Katy Hayward in its selection of 14 highly accomplished leaders invited to participate in its 2019 Island of Ireland Program, a prestigious international leadership programme. The named recipients work in fields such as diplomacy, law, economics, religious affairs, environmental conservation and academia. The programme will see Katy travel across the United States exchanging knowledge and ideas with other leading figures before applying her new expertise to a project with real-world impact in a Northern Ireland setting.
Anne Campbell was appointed co–chair of the Recovery Committee for the UK Government Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which advises the government on supporting people to recover from dependence on drugs and alcohol and how best to prevent drug and alcohol misuse and its associated harm. Anne’s new Recovery Committee role recognises her expertise in aspects of drug and alcohol recovery. She is chair of the Dual Diagnosis Expert Research and Education Group (Northern Ireland) and won the highly prestigious Lifetime Drug and Alcohol Fellowship Application to NIDA (USA, January to June 2017).
Michael Duffy was invited to become a founding member of the newly formed UK Trauma Council, a crossdisciplinary leadership group tasked with supporting and guiding the creation, development and dissemination of trauma resources, guidance, policy and training. It supports collaboration across a broad interdisciplinary group of experts, to ensure children and young people receive help following trauma. Like Michael Duffy, UK Trauma Council members are recognised experts in their respective fields and are drawn from across the four nations of the UK.
Joe Duffy is on a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship study visit to the USA this academic year. In addition to working with universities and organisations in Nashville and New York, Joe shared with the United States Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) his research findings on the benefits of directly involving people with lived experience in the teaching of social work students. Joe’s input to the CSWE helps inform their future planning and development for social work education in the USA.
Read more about colleagues’ research and teaching at www.qub.ac.uk/ssesw
Our Centre for Children’s Rights (CCR) has established itself as the leading international research centre for children’s rights and participation.
Laura Lundy and Michelle Templeton co-ordinated children's participation at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Day of General Discussion (DGD) in Geneva in September on 'Children Human Rights Defenders'. DGDs occur every two years on key children’s rights issues and make recommendations to governments and others.
Our colleagues worked with Child Rights Connect and an international advisory group of 21 children who developed child-friendly materials and made the DGD the most participatory one ever: all sessions were co-moderated by children and there were child speakers at every session and interactive dialogue. The child advisors provided key insights on consulting with children across the world on their experiences as human rights defenders. This involved a partnership with global children’s organisations and reached almost 3000 children in 53 countries. The report of the global Children Human Rights Defenders consultations is available at http://bit.ly/2pyAtBl.
Other CCR activities include: a Council of Europe study of disabled children’s experience of their digital rights; consulting children in the five UN regions, with GlobalChild, to develop indicators for monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Participation for Protection, a European Commission project developing training focused on what matters to children who have experienced violence; a world-wide consultation with children who have been deprived of their liberty, to inform a UN study. Laura Lundy travelled to Taipei in September, to advise the government and politicians on involving children in public decision-making and train Taiwanese children’s rights organisations and policy makers on child participation. Read more about CCR at www.qub.ac.uk/ccr
Tell us a little about yourself.
After successfully completing my A Levels at Omagh Academy, I studied Mathematics at undergraduate and then Master’s level at Queen’s University Belfast where I very much enjoyed the ‘university life’. I then enrolled in the university’s PGCE Mathematics programme at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW).
Why did you choose this particular course?
I have a real passion and desire to work with young people. Coupled with my lifelong love of Maths, this meant the PGCE was my obvious choice after graduation from my Master’s course at Queen’s. My decision to study at Queen’s was largely based on positive recommendations from friends who had already studied there. Moreover, having been born without my right hand the additional support that Queen’s offered me was beyond anything I had expected.
What was your experience of the course?
As much as I enjoyed my years as an undergrad, my postgraduate experience on the PGCE has been, without doubt, my favourite year at university. I had the opportunity to study alongside an incredible group of aspiring teachers who helped and encouraged each other through a very intense year of coursework and school experience. My subject coordinator in SSESW went well beyond the call of duty, to be a constant source of experience, advice and support. However, it was the opportunities offered through the teaching practice placements, getting into schools and interacting with their young people, that made the year so special. Finishing my PGCE year by winning two GTCNI STAR awards was an unexpected but equally tremendous way to end my time at Queen’s and boost my CV as I entered the professional world.
How did you find student life in Belfast?
Moving to Belfast was a big change for me, having grown up on a small farm in the County Tyrone village of Seskinore. However, the university (and the city itself) offers so much that you can get involved in. I have loved every minute of it and continue to enjoy life in Belfast’s university area as I begin my professional career.
Where are you in your career at the moment?
Just before the end of my PGCE training, and largely due to the support therein, I managed to secure a full-time permanent post at Belfast Royal Academy. I entered my early teaching career with equal amounts of apprehension and excitement. I am very much enjoying getting to know and work with the school’s staff and students, hopefully having a positive impact on their lives at an academic and social level.
Follow this link for more information about the PGCE.
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) colleagues Karen Winter and Jennifer Roberts worked with the University’s Widening Participation Unit (WPU) and the South Eastern Trust to develop a paired reading scheme to support P5 children in care in boosting their literacy skills. The scheme, called Reading Together, provides pupils with one-to-one support from a Queen’s student acting as a mentor. Mentors were recruited via a Queen’s job site for students and interviewed by staff from WPU, the Trust and a Trust-based care-experienced intern. Successful applicants received training from Jennifer Roberts, who was a primary school teacher before joining SSESW.
Pupils were selected in close consultation with social workers, managers, foster carers and schools. The programme’s design and delivery, informed by Karen Winter (a qualified social worker with 16 years’ experience working with children in care), involved mentors meeting with the same child once weekly for eight weeks in schools throughout the spring semester 2018 and reading, playing games and chatting.
Children said they enjoyed the time spent with their mentor and, regarding their reading, one child said: ‘I love reading now. Love it. I want to see what happens at the end of the story.’
One student mentor commented on the role: ‘It was a joy to watch [the child] develop in literacy but, more significantly, in [their] appreciation of the books and their value.’
Commenting on the impact of the scheme on their perception of children in care, one mentor said: ‘They just want to be treated like everybody else. [The child] genuinely wanted to do well with reading, just like any other pupil would.’
With funding from Queen’s University, the South Eastern Trust and a benefactor in business, plans are underway to continue the scheme.
Our Sociology team hosted a seminar in September, on the theme of inequality, featuring the distinguished Sociologist of Education, Professor Diane Reay (now emerita) from the University of Cambridge. Her talk drew on material from her recent and well-received book Miseducation: Inequality, Education, and the Working Classes (ISBN 978-1447330653), which draws on over 500 qualitative interviews conducted over a number of years and has reignited academic, political and popular discussion around the issue.
The talk at Queen’s focused in particular on the emotional dynamics and consequences of class-based inequalities in education in the UK. Powerful and, at times, poignant, the seminar showcased the importance of Sociology, and the Sociological Imagination, for understanding and explaining how the structures and policies of today’s increasingly competitive educational regime may actually perpetuate and deepen, rather than ameliorate, social inequality, and how such structures are experienced as lived, felt, and embodied realities, particularly (but not only) by the working classes.
These emotional impacts (such as shame, anxiety, anger, lack of confidence) may have profound effects on children and young people, and their parents and families, not only in terms of their educational attainment, participation and aspirations, but at the deepest levels of their selves and psyches, their identities, sense of self and self-confidence.
This hugely popular seminar packed out the beautiful Council Chamber at Queen’s University and brought together academics, professionals, practitioners, teachers, and students at all levels in areas such as education, health, youth agencies, social work, early years, widening participation and higher and further education.
The report of the Supported Decision Making Project was launched at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) on 29 June. The project was a collaboration between Praxis Care, Mencap and SSESW. It was funded through Disability Action as part of the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) Programme. The project consulted people with mental health and learning difficulties on their experiences of decision making processes and the support that should be made available in the future.
The work aims to inform the Code of Practice for the new Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 which is to be implemented in 2020/21. The research project was led by Paul Webb, Research Manager at Praxis Care and Visiting Research Fellow at the School of SSESW, and included SSESW researcher Aisling McLaughlin and several colleagues from our Disability Research Network: Rebecca Irvine, Lorna Montgomery, Berni Kelly and Gavin Davidson.
The project was informed at key points by an international advisory group, including Dr Nancy Hansen (University of Manitoba). One particularly successful aspect of this project was the role of four peer researchers (two with learning disabilities and two with experience of mental health problems) as part of the research team. The peer researchers were involved in all aspects of the research process including the presentation of the research as part of the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series at the Northern Ireland Assembly and at the Decisions, Assessment, Risk and Evidence in Social Work Conference. The findings from this exploratory, qualitative study will inform the development of a training intervention for those who may be supporting people to make their own decisions. Follow this link to access the full report.
In January 2019, our new MSc Higher Education will engage its first intake of local and international participants with the diverse challenges and growing opportunities in higher education globally by conducting research, implementing strategies and evaluating innovations.
Coordinated by SSESW academic Dina Belluigi, this three year, part-time, blended programme aims to foster a learning culture of leadership and development for both institutional enhancement and the professional advancement of those supporting and driving academic matters. Focal areas include transformation, access, quality and the digital in higher education.
A unique feature is its emphasis on relationship between the areas of educational development and scholarship for all those working in higher education, from policy-makers to academic staff, managers, officers, advisers and evaluators of institutions, non-profit organisations and governmental agencies concerned with learning, research and civic engagement in higher education.
This qualification aims to strongly position participants to take the lead in discussions about issues impacted by the local and global in higher education, and to model excellence by showcasing innovative and enhanced strategies and policies using rigorous and valid evidence-based practices.
Follow this link for more information about the MSc in Higher Education.
Our new Quantitative Methods Exit Pathway is designed to give students skills and training that will give them a head start in the employment market. The new pathway is available on our BA degree programmes (Criminology single honours, Sociology single honours, Criminology and Sociology joint and both our Social Policy joints degrees).
In an increasingly technologically advanced society gathering large amounts of data about how people think and act, and providing illuminating and practical information about how the social world works, employers need staff who can analyse and apply social data to solve real world problems. There is a shortage of and growing demand for university graduates who can apply these skills to topics such as health behaviours, online dating, criminal activities and many others. Our social sciences programme and new exit pathway focus on working with and interpreting quantitative data, with a strong emphasis on applying a social science framework in practical ways.
The programme is designed to maximise student choice by allowing students to try a range of classes without committing to a particular degree. To action the Quantitative Methods Exit Pathway students simply take the required number of modules offered in year 2 and year 3 of the Criminology, Sociology or Social Policy degree. This allows the degree to be named at graduation as a BSc (degree) with Quantitative Methods, clearly indicating to employers the additional skills and expertise embedded in the degree.
Follow this link for more information about the Exit pathways and Q-Step.
Dr Laura Dunne is a Chartered Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer in Education. She is our Research Impact and Public Engagement Champion. She tweets at @LauraDunne_QUB.
I am a Fellow of our Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation and the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health, based at Queen’s University. I began my research career as a psychologist but now consider myself, in broader terms, a social scientist. My research interests lie in three main areas: child health and wellbeing; early child development; and programme evaluation. My research informs my teaching. I teach at Doctoral level on Early Child Development and at Master’s level on Assessment Issues in Teaching and Learning in Classrooms.
Through my varied interdisciplinary experiences over the last fifteen years, I became interested in taking a more holistic view of the child, conducting both quantitative and qualitative research to best answer the research questions in hand. I have a particularly strong relationship with colleagues in Public Health at Queen’s and have learned much from them in terms of extending my theoretical and methodological view.
I am interested in generating evidence about what works for children and young people. To this end, I have conducted a number of randomised controlled trials of school and community-based programmes over the last ten years.
Most recently, I have been privileged to be on the core management team of the LINKS global research network, funded by the National Institute of Health Research and led by Professor Paul Connolly (Queen’s University). This work explores the potential of early childhood development programmes for social cohesion and peacebuilding in six low and middle-income countries affected by conflict. To develop and evaluate programmes we work closely with research teams and UNICEF offices in Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
The Queen’s team also works alongside our strategic partners: UNICEF, Harvard, Yale, NYU and Early Years Northern Ireland. This project has awakened an earlier interest in anthropology and makes use of my skills in education, psychology and public health.
I am always keen to take on new administrative challenges and led the School of SSESW to win its first Athena SWAN Bronze award in 2016. In my current role as Research Impact and Public Engagement Champion, I am excited to learn more about how our work can make a real difference in improving outcomes across society.
One of my favourite aspects of my work is supervising doctoral students. I really enjoy embarking on the journey together and watching the research, and the student, grow and develop.
The present day can seem like the ‘age of emotions’, given the increased importance of emotion to all aspects of our personal and professional lives. An international conference in August on the Sociology of Emotions looked at this topic in various ways, from the emotional politics of Trump and the rise of populism across Europe, to the emotional experiences of unemployment; from the role of shame, anger and inequality in young men’s accounts of self-harm and suicide, to an analysis of the emotional assumptions and dimensions of primary school mindfulness programmes in the UK (such as ‘Paws B’).
Conference panels covered themes such as: emotions, power and the state; the digital sociology of emotions; emotional inequalities; migration, asylum and emotion; and emotions in family and intimate relations.
The conference was co-organized by School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) academic Jonathan Heaney, who chairs the European Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions Research Network (RN11) and the newly re-formed British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions Study Group. It was hosted at the University of Edinburgh and included a one-day workshop for PhD students from across Europe (including one from SSESW), who also had the opportunity to present their work at the main conference.
The conference featured leading emotion scholars from within and beyond Europe, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Turkey, Hungry, Latvia, the USA and Australia. More than 70 delegates heard keynotes from Professor Ian Burkitt (Bradford) on the reflexive and emotional self, and Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff) on the emotional politics of Donald Trump. Further details are available at https://socemot18.weebly.com/.
For the second year in a row, an SSESW undergraduate student has been Highly Commended in The Global Undergraduate Awards (UA), the world’s largest academic awards programme identifying leading creative thinkers and problem-solvers through their undergraduate coursework.
Angela Rogan‘s paper, A Fusion of Feminism and Foucault to Fight Pharmaceutical Crime, was assessed by an international panel of expert judges from world leading academic institutions. It was ranked in the top 10% of 4,887 submissions from over 300 global universities.
UA provides top performing students with support and opportunities to raise their profiles at a summit in Dublin where they can network with world-renowned speakers, academics and potential employers and attend workshops designed to help them share research and begin their path after undergraduate study.
Speaking of her UA commendation, Angela said: ‘It’s a fantastic experience to be highly commended. I am excited about the summit, where I hope to expand my knowledge across multiple disciplines in conjunction with discussing my own areas of study within Criminology and Sociology. For me this represents a perfect boost for this academic year.’
A conference reunion of current and former students attracted interest from potential Master’s and PhD students as they marked the success of our vibrant research and teaching programme that contributes to quality behaviour analytic research and services with an international impact.
The Disability Research Network (DRN) continues to work on a range of research projects ranging from access to justice for deaf people to supporting people with learning disabilities who have experienced sexual violence and supporting people with mental health problems to get involved in physical activity.
Bronagh Byrne was part of an invited panel at Stormont Buildings in June. The Expert Panel Discussion on Special Educational Needs was organised by the All Party Groups on Children and Young People, Disability and Learning Disability and discussed ongoing challenges in the area around the role of special schools, funding cuts, and transitions.
In June, Berni Kelly gave a key note presentation at annual UK conference of the Disabled Children’s Research Network at the University of Nottingham on the theme of Safeguarding Disabled Children and Young People. Key themes arising from the conference include the need for greater co-operation across child and disability services, more early intervention services and practice tools for assessing the complexities of risks for disabled children.
In September, Berni Kelly presented at the CoramBAAF Practice Forum on Foster Care and Adoption for Disabled Children. The presentation highlighted concerns about the over-representation of disabled children in the care system and the need for more family-based placements offering permanency. Practice developments in this area include alternative approaches to recruiting adopters for disabled children and greater use of social media. The Practice Forum is also supportive of more research on motivation for fostering and adopting disabled children and how best to promote permanency and post-adoption support services to meet both child and carer needs.
In October, Bronagh Byrne gave a keynote presentation at the launch of the Children and Young People’s Plan for the Donegal Children and Young People’s Services Committee. Bronagh presented on the theme Reimagining Disability - from accepting diversity to true inclusion.
The DRN had a very productive conference season.
Our Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT) is funded by the Department of Education to enhance and support language teaching and learning in Northern Ireland.
On 26 September NICILT celebrated European Day of Languages (EDL) by attending colourful events in Mount Lourdes Grammar School and Erne Integrated College in Enniskillen where they delivered language workshops to 120 pupils. NICILT is the EDL relay for Northern Ireland schools and this year dispatched resource packs to language teachers containing over 2000 wristbands, pencils and stickers.
The NICILT colleagues were also delighted to be invited to address a colourful EDL assembly (left) at Botanic Primary School where they were greeted by Primary 2 pupils singing songs and saying hello in their native languages.
NICILT were invited to outline their work at a Welcome and Induction Day for incoming Modern Language Assistants. They also gave a presentation to our new cohort of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students and introduced PGCE Modern Language students to the NICILT resource centre and facilities.
In November, NICILT will host two film days for A-level pupils at Queen’s Film Theatre. The films, shown in Spanish and German, will be followed by interactive workshops delivered by lecturers from Queen’s University and University College Dublin, the aim of which is to enhance students’ understanding of the language and themes. NICILT are running several Languages and Employability workshops forYear 10 pupils, before they make their GCSE choices, to highlight how learning a language helps develop important life skills which can boost career options and employability.
Follow this link for more information on NICILT.
In October, Joanne Hughes and Rebecca Loader from our Centre for Shared Education (CSE) travelled to Israel to meet colleagues involved in shared education in the region. During their visit, they met a group of teachers who are embarking on shared education as part of a project coordinated by the Abraham Fund, an NGO dedicated to peacebuilding. Inspired by the experience of Northern Ireland schools, the Shared Learning Programme involves 15 partnerships of Arab and Jewish schools.
Through the programme, teachers and pupils from each partnership come together for 8-10 joint classes with a mutually agreed curriculum focus. These classes are team-taught by Arab and Jewish teachers and alternate in location between the two schools. Joanne and Rebecca gave a presentation to the group of teachers outlining the development of shared education in Northern Ireland, research into its implementation and impact, and the CSE colleagues’ experience of introducing such initiatives to other countries, including the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Joanne and Rebecca also met Dr Dafna Yitzhaki from Tel Aviv University and Dr Shany Payes and Myriam Darmoni Shabit from the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) in Tel Aviv, who are leading a project to promote the shared teaching of English between Arab and Jewish schools. Our Centre for Shared Education colleagues had an opportunity to speak to teachers involved in this project, as well as to discuss with academic contacts plans for joint research in this area. CET and the Abraham Fund have been awarded a grant for $1 million from USAID to progress shared education in Israel, and the Centre for Shared Education looks forward to working with and learning from them as they develop this important work.
For more information contact
Dr Rebecca Loader at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel +44 (0)28 9097 1363
Shadd Maruna is the new Professor of Criminology at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW). He tweets at @criminology.
I was delighted to return to Queen’s University to join SSESW in August 2017. With its array of complementary academic fields, the School nicely captures my own decidedly cross-disciplinary (some would say ‘mongrel’) academic pedigree and orientation.
Having previously studied undergraduate philosophy and English literature at Illinois State University (on the grounds that I never wanted to have to do a proper job), I eventually found my way into postgraduate training in something called ‘Human Development and Social Policy’ in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). Something about that long-winded and ambitious-sounding course name appealed to my academic insatiability and unwillingness to settle down and commit myself to a single academic discipline or approach.
However, on completing a PhD on the role of the criminal justice system in the transition from adolescence into adulthood, I soon found an academic home in criminology, a field that was famous for welcoming interdisciplinarity - drawing on sociology, law, psychology, social work, medicine and much more. Criminology has been good to me and afforded me some remarkable opportunities at previous universities like Cambridge, Manchester and the State University of New York. I was, briefly, the Dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, one of America’s oldest and largest criminology programmes. My book Making Good was awarded a major book prize from the American Society of Criminology. I am one of the three editors of the Oxford Handbook of Criminology, sometimes called the ‘bible’ of UK criminology. I am primarily interested in real world engagement (public criminology) and my work with ex-prisoner organisations has been recognised with impact prizes from the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Economic and Social Research Council.
However, in order to retain its vibrancy as a ‘rendezvous discipline’, it is important that criminology not allow itself to become too insular and isolated. As such, I am delighted to be working with our outstanding SSESW criminology team that is very much integrated into our wider group of social scientists, social workers and educationalists. I am biased, but I would argue that the questions we ask in criminology – about the aetiology of criminal involvement or the role of state actions in perpetuating this criminality – can only be understood if they are situated in the wider sciences of human development and social policy, each of which themselves draw on the tools and theories of sociology, biology, economics, politics, history and much more. As such, I look forward to continuing to learn from my colleagues at SSESW.
A Queen’s University Teaching Award 2018 was presented to School of SSESW academic Katerina Dounavi, Director of our very popular Master’s in Applied Behaviour Analysis. The Queen’s Teaching Awards Scheme encourages and rewards the development of learning and teaching practice that has led to particularly effective and worthwhile learning.
Her award, in the Rising Stars Category, recognises Katerina’s work in ‘delivering the MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programme, predominantly online, through an innovative blended learning approach. The programme delivery provides her students with an enriching learning experience and increases their employability through access to professional certification. Dr Dounavi’s programme presents her students with a challenging learning environment in which appropriate support is embedded to enable them to succeed.’
Follow this link to read more about Katerina’s teaching and research.
As part of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October), the School hosted a seminar at Queen’s University which was organised in partnership with the Department of Health (DoH). The focus of the event was to present the Anti-Poverty Practice Framework for Social Work in Northern Ireland to students on our Social Work degree programme. The event gave students a chance to engage with policy makers and academics alike, in a community of active learners.
The event marks a continuation of the close relationship social work at Queen’s has with policy makers. Facilitated by SSESW academic Paul McCafferty, the event included a presentation about the Framework by Sean Holland (Chief Social Work Officer: DoH). Sean’s key point was that social workers must practice in a manner that embraces the values of social justice and inclusion. By practicing in this way, Sean feels that social workers can engage more collaboratively with those in poverty and therefore practice in a more nuanced and empathic manner.
Other speakers included Aine Morrison (Professional Officer: DoH), who talked in detail about the Framework’s implications for social work practice. Aine engaged students in a participatory workshop to develop a deeper understanding of practice issues in relation to poverty. Building on this, the students then developed a set of pledges, which they hope to develop practically during their practice placements.
SSESW academic Lisa Bunting also presented her findings from The Child Welfare Inequalities Project. This key piece of research has informed the Anti-Poverty Practice Framework for Social Work in Northern Ireland. Other SSESW colleagues involved in this research included Gavin Davidson and Claire McCartan.
Our strong relationship with schools in Northern Ireland is at the core of the continued success of our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). In order to give PGCE students the training necessary to become competent teachers, we rely on partnership schools to host them on extended teaching practice placements. These placements allow students to experience real life in a school and to learn from experts in the classroom.
The dedication and hard work of the teacher tutors lead to effective placements and ensure that PGCE students graduate with sound subject knowledge and real world experience in the teaching profession.
Joanne Montgomery from Ballyclare High School said of the partnership teacher training model: ‘At Ballyclare High we value the professional development of placement students. To ease the transition of putting theory into practice we have a support network which groups Student Teachers with our Beginning Teachers, to offer relevant training opportunities.’
PGCE students report that they value enormously the skills, confidence and expertise they gain in schools. They find their extended teaching practice placements fulfilling and rewarding, especially since host schools often seek new recruits from the graduating PGCE cohort to join their staff. Jennifer Roberts, Deputy Director of the PGCE course, said: ‘We are very lucky to work alongside some of the best teachers and schools in Northern Ireland to ensure our beginning teachers are well equipped for the teaching profession. We really value the collaboration between SSESW and the host schools and the expertise they bring to the programme.’
For more information about our PGCE programme or the role of partnership schools, please see http://bit.ly/2C6qs5T or contact Jennifer Roberts (email@example.com) or James Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
One of our academic year highlights, the Presentation of Certificates and Awards for our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students, took place at the University’s beautiful Riddel Hall in August. An evening of celebration marked another very successful PGCE year and launched the careers of these beginning teachers who will make a big impact on the education community.
This annual presentation recognises the dedication and enthusiasm that PGCE students invest in their time at Queen’s and in their teaching practice placements in schools around Northern Ireland. The graduates were addressed by Professor Carl Bagley, our Head of School (back row, second left), whose words of encouragement included a reminder to the new teachers to continue investing in their professional development with further studies at higher degree level.
Guest speaker for the event was retiring principal of Hazelwood Integrated College, Kathleen O’Hare (front row, right), who inspired the PGCE graduates with welcome insight from her many years of experience in different education roles.
Gerry Devlin, Senior Education Officer at the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), presented both of the prestigious GTCNI STAR awards to PGCE Mathematics graduate Ryan Patterson (back row, left) who has taken up a teaching post at Belfast Royal Academy.
The School prizes were awarded by outgoing PGCE Director, Alison MacKenzie:
Follow this link for more information on our PGCE.
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) academic Pamela Cowan (second left), Convenor for our PGCE in Computing and ICT, hosted a group of Japanese professors who visited Northern Ireland in September to experience other educational systems, with a particular interest in technology-enhanced learning, active learning in classrooms, programming across compulsory education and robotics in third level education settings.
The Japanese group (L-R Professor Matsumoto, Professor Okazaki and Professor Naruse) also have links to Northern Ireland through the South Eastern Regional College and the Education and Training Inspectorate however they wanted to extend their partnerships with Northern Ireland by linking up with Pamela Cowan to include the higher education perspective of innovative technologies for teacher education.
Northern Ireland schools are recognised leaders in the area of technology-enhanced learning so the visitors spent time at two of our partnership schools, Ballyclare High and Ballyclare Secondary schools, to view innovative teaching practices underway in the classroom. Of particular interest to the Japanese visitors was the fact that Ballyclare High is one of three schools in Northern Ireland that have recently achieved prestigious Digital Schoolhouse status.
With appropriate funding secured from their government the Japanese visitors hope to facilitate annual visits for their teachers enrolled on their Master’s in Educational Technology programmes, to extend the sharing of expertise between Japan and Northern Ireland.
As a follow up to this year’s visit by the professors at the University of Toyama, SSESW will be co-hosting the 3rd ESTEL Conference on Teaching and Learning comprising virtual presentations from invited staff at SSESW and key universities in Japan.
In addition to our wide ranging seminar series, (see https://tinyurl.com/y9odppov) School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) colleagues lead important network activities in their respective fields, contributing to improving practice in local and global arenas. The following are a sample of just a few activities over recent months:
The week-long residential event in August is a joint initiative between DfC and DEASP, alternating annually between Belfast and Dublin. This year’s summer school was entitled 'Welfare, Work and Well-Being: Challenges for the 21st Century'. At various locations across Queen’s, the event's extensive programme connected staff from both departments, and other related bodies, and facilitated important discussion on social policy issues and sharing of best practice.
As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, SSESW colleague Amanda Slevin hosted a public event at Queen’s University on 7 November entitled ‘Climate Change: How do we respond?’. In addition to Amanda Slevin pointing out how fossil fuel dependent our societies are, the event featured interdisciplinary inputs from Kevin Leyden (NUI Galway), John Barry (HAPP, QUB) and Peter Doran (Law, QUB).
Climate change and associated consequences are some of the biggest challenges our society faces. This event created a space for an interactive public discussion on these issues, with great audience engagement and energising discussions.
Follow this link to read more about Amanda’s publications and research.
Our Centre for Children’s Rights has been awarded funding from the European Commission to lead a project aimed at enhancing child-centred approaches to victims of violence, and raising children’s understanding of reporting mechanisms and support structures.
‘Participation for Protection’ (P4P), led by SSESW academic Siobhán McAlister, involves partners from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Romania and the UK. It adopts a child rights-based approach to developing training and resources for children and young people, and those working with and for them.
Two children and young people’s advisory groups based in Belfast (St Ita’s Primary School and Include Youth) are informing key aspects of the project. This includes: the design of consultation tools for use with children across the partner countries; the information to be provided to children; training resources for professionals; and a multi-media resource for children and young people.
Over two years the project will consult with over 1000 children and young people across the partner countries on the theme ‘what makes good support and service responses?’.
This consultation includes school children and specific groups at risk of violence, or already experiencing violence, including: children in care, children in detention/in conflict with the law, Roma children, children living in high conflict communities, child migrants and refugees, and child victims of domestic violence.
As part of the consultation stage, the P4P project team is looking for two P6 or P7 classes and two year 10 or year 11 classes by the end of May, to help run a survey. If you can help, please contact Siobhán McAlister.
Tell us a little about yourself
I graduated with a BA in Sociology in 2017. I am currently working for the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency as a Statistical Officer.
Why did you choose this particular programme?
I chose the BA Sociology as I was good at A-Level Sociology. More importantly, I was totally captivated by the subject and it made me question basic concepts like gender and religion that most people take for granted. My teachers at Down High School were extremely supportive and encouraged my learning. I knew I wanted to further my sociological studies and, from a young age, I wanted to study at Queen's University.
What did you enjoy about the course?
Overall the course was interesting and challenging. I enjoyed the pace of the course. First year was a more in depth look into concepts I studied for A-Level. Having this background knowledge helped me to keep up with introductory modules, whilst allowing me to settle into university life and learn the ropes! I actually enjoyed writing my dissertation and I was proud of myself for having written my own high quality piece of work. The dissertation also sparked my interest in quantitative research methods, which helped me get the job I am in now.
What was your experience of the facilities at Queen’s University?
Before starting university I expected it to be very different from school, not only as a learning environment but in a support capacity too. I thought pastoral care was not a feature of the university experience, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. My personal tutor provided emotional as well as academic support.
What did you enjoy about the course?
Overall the course was interesting and challenging. I enjoyed the pace of the course. First year was a more in-depth look into concepts I studied for A-Level. Having this background knowledge helped me to keep up with introductory modules, whilst allowing me to settle into university life and learn the ropes! I actually enjoyed writing my dissertation and I was proud of myself for having written my own high quality piece of work. The dissertation also sparked my interest in quantitative research methods, which helped me get the job I am in now.
How did you find the student experience?
This goes out to all prospective students and current students – enjoy the university experience! Join all the clubs, get involved in as much as possible and push yourself to go outside your comfort zone. I was the Vice Chair of the Mind Your Mood mental health campaign at Queen’s, and it felt so good to be making a difference and promoting positive mental health around campus. I only wish I had got involved in more clubs and societies sooner. I used to be a little timid but I gained skills and confidence at university and now I don’t shy away from taking on a new challenge. Make the most out of Queen’s!
The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is hosting a brand new International Summer School: Education for Transformation. It is one of only three distinctively tailored programmes running for four weeks this summer at Queen’s, designed to inspire students from around the world to view learning as a catalyst for transformation.
Drawing on experiences and research within Northern Ireland, the UK and from around the world, our academics will provide students with a unique opportunity to study a society emerging from conflict and a chance to learn about its many distinct school sectors, including faith schools, Irish language schools, religiously integrated schools and schools involved in the internationally renowned Shared Education Programme.
Over four weeks students will attend lectures on Education through Evidence and Social Innovation, Education Studies and Leadership and will participate in sessions on Curriculum in Divided and Conflict-Affected Societies.
Having welcomed students from around the world to previous summers schools at Queen’s, Claire McLoughlin, International Summer Schools and Study Abroad Coordinator, is looking forward to the new Education for Transformation Summer School and the positive impact it can have on students:
‘Never underestimate the power of a summer abroad experience to light a fire of inspiration. The highlight for me is seeing the personal development of our students over the four weeks and also seeing their delight at the opportunity to apply their learning in the classroom, outside the classroom, with a range of historical and cultural field trips.’
The Education for Transformation International Summer School runs from 25 June-20 July 2018.
For more information contact email@example.com
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Peace Agreement and to encourage new thinking and research in peacebuilding and reconciliation, the British Council ran a conference in Belfast on 10-12 April entitled Peace and Beyond. Over 200 international delegates attended a programme of events across seven locations in Belfast with input from multiple organisations, a range of themes and numerous international speakers.
Presentations from the Northern Ireland perspective involved individuals who have been prominent in peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and internationally, including Senator George Mitchell and Professor Monica McWilliams.
Professor Joanne Hughes, Director of our Centre for Shared Education, chaired a conference session at Titanic Belfast on the inter-generational impact of conflict. Her session explored the effects of conflict on a new generation of young people, particularly those born in the years after ceasefire and peace agreements. Panellists included those who had personal and professional experiences of the conflict in South Africa, Lebanon and Northern Ireland.
Key themes that emerged during the session related to the relationship between disadvantage, marginalisation and the ongoing impact of conflict, and the need to find creative and constructive ways to tackle the negative legacies of the past which are manifest in risk behaviours such as substance abuse and anti-social behaviour, mental health issues, high levels of suicide and ongoing low-level sectarianism.
For more information email Professor Joanne Hughes or tel +44(0)2890975934
SSESW colleague Joe Duffy co-edited a new book entitled Service User Involvement in Social Work Education with a team comprising academics and service user experienced colleagues. Launched in March this year, this Routledge published book contains a special collection of contributions from Australia, Israel, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, as well as all four nations of the United Kingdom.
Its chapters offer important examples of how service user involvement has been approached in the international context of social work education. It is the first time that a collection has been solely dedicated to this particular focus. Many contributions in the book are jointly written with service users and carers, highlighting the innovative practices which challenge social work academics, students, social workers and managers to think how all can benefit from learning with, and from, service users and carers.
Service User Involvement in Social Work Education ISBN-10 0815378300
In January, representatives from UNESCO sites and projects across the UK gathered at a reception at Queen’s University to celebrate the work of UNESCO in Northern Ireland and to highlight the region’s two UNESCO Chairs, one of whom is SSESW academic Professor Joanne Hughes. Joanne, who is also the Director of our Centre for Shared Education, was awarded UNESCO’s first Chair in Globalising a Shared Education Model for Improving Relations in Divided Societies in 2016.
Through a programme of research and collaboration around shared education with international stakeholders and partner institutions, the objective of this role is to promote intergroup contact and intercultural dialogue in education, thereby contributing to peacebuilding.
Following on from the reception, Queen's hosted a colloquium at its Riddel Hall complex where UNESCO Chairs from across the UK and Ireland, along with colleagues from UNESCO's UK National Commission, explored the UN Sustainable Development Goals and related policy issues. This colloquium also provided an opportunity for Chairs to exchange best practice and learn about Northern Ireland’s world-leading research on education, peacebuilding and human rights. The UNESCO colleagues considered the colloquium to be a huge success. Participants were extremely complimentary about the welcome and facilities they experienced at Queen's University and looked forward to future opportunities to return to Northern Ireland.
The Disability Research Network at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) is delighted to be involved in three grant award successes in Northern Ireland as part of the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a £5 million scheme led by people with disabilities and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
More than £1 million has been awarded to 10 new research and pilot projects across the UK, of which £450,000 has been allocated to three projects in Northern Ireland involving SSESW colleagues. Each research or pilot project will be led by people with disabilities or long term health conditions. They will be developing approaches and questions, working alongside academics and policy makers. The projects involving our colleagues are:
Our Disability Research Network is a multi-disciplinary initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between academics, policymakers, practitioners and community and voluntary sector organisations with an interest in disability studies and research. It provides unique opportunities for members to share knowledge and disseminate a growing body of disability research, stimulate debate about disability issues and develop collaborative partnerships for future disability research and further development of disability policy and practice.
Belfast City Council commissioned SSESW academic Karen Kerr to undertake an evaluation of the schools' aspect of its ParkLife education programme. Karen’s research background is in science education, assessment in science and outdoor learning. She leads the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) citizen science project at Queen’s, training teachers to deliver outdoor learning. Her evaluation of ParkLife identified the programme as 'best in class'.
ParkLife, run by the Council in conjunction with Ulster Wildlife, is an education programme which uses and promotes parks and open spaces across the city as a resource for outdoor learning. It encourages children and their families to get outdoors and explore their local parks. The ParkLife programme has three main elements: schools, Saturday Clubs and community groups.
The study by Karen Kerr found that, as a result of taking part in ParkLife:
Commenting on the outcome of the evaluation, Karen Kerr said: 'As a result of the positive findings from this evaluation, it is apparent that learning outdoors in local parks through the ParkLife Education Programme is a very positive experience for children across all the primary and secondary outcomes measured'.
For more information email Dr Karen Kerr or tel +44(0)2890975945
Dr Bronagh Byrne is a Lecturer and Programme Director in Social Policy. She is also Co-Director of our Centre for Children’s Rights and Co-Chair of the Disability Research Network at Queen’s. Her research expertise is in the rights of children and young people with disabilities. She tweets at @BronaghByrneQUB
Academia was never my anticipated career destination. Following a first degree in Economics at Queen’s University, I decided to pursue a career path in the business arena. However, in light of what seemed like endless job applications and either not being shortlisted when I declared my disability, or being shortlisted when I did not declare, but not being offered the post, I decided it was time for change. While I reject the idea that being deaf makes me different from others, it has undoubtedly been an inextricable part of my journey.
My interest in research emerged during my time as a research assistant with the then Royal National Institute for Deaf People, examining issues such as educational transitions and what deaf people wanted from the Northern Ireland Assembly. This spurred me to undertake a PhD at Queen’s University exploring the barriers to further and higher education for young deaf people and young people with visual impairments. I became increasingly passionate about the rights of young people with disabilities and this found a home in the community and voluntary sector where I worked for three years as Research and Policy Officer for Disability Action’s Centre on Human Rights. Lobbying the UK government to ratify the new United Nations treaty protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities, and participating in the first treaty Committee session at the UN in Geneva, was a real turning point in determining the research area I wanted to focus on.
I returned to Queen’s in 2009 as a Research Fellow on Children’s Rights, becoming a lecturer in social policy in 2012. During this time I consolidated my human rights knowledge base by undertaking a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law. Social policy is a vibrant, hugely relevant topic that impacts on all of us on a daily basis. This means keeping abreast of the latest policy developments in areas such as education, welfare reform, law, health, and the impact these have on the rights of children and young people and of people with disabilities. I have carried out research on some of these issues for organisations such as Council of Europe, Unicef, Action on Hearing Loss, and the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, to name a few, with the aim of making a difference to people’s lives.
Outside of academia I am a trustee of Action Deaf Youth and enjoy immersing myself in Scandinavian crime fiction.
Many anniversaries are being marked in Northern Ireland in 2018, including the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the 50th anniversary of the student protests and civil rights movements. This year is also significant for ARK, Northern Ireland’s social policy hub co-hosted by the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University and Ulster University. ARK is particularly known for its three annual attitudes surveys, providing robust and independent data on public opinion to key social and political issues which feed into policy and public debate.
In 1998, the first Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) survey took place, asking adults about issues such as community relations and politics. We recognised that children and young people often lack a voice in the decisions directly affecting them, so we launched two further surveys. The first, Young Life and Times (YLT), was launched in 2003 and explores the lives of 16 year olds. In 2008, we ran the first Kids' Life and Times (KLT) which asks 10-11 year olds about their opinions.
So 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of NILT, the15th anniversary of YLT and 10 years since the first KLT! Data from all three surveys are freely and publicly available, providing valuable snapshots of how the lives and attitudes of people of all ages in Northern Ireland have changed over time.
Our website (www.ark.ac.uk) provides access to all our survey data, as well as information about events and publications to mark these anniversaries.
For more information email Dr Paula Devine or tel +44(0)2890973034
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work academic Ruth Leitch spent time in April on a teaching and research visit to Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (WNUAS). With 16,000 students, the University is the result of a recent merger of five campuses on the west coast and is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway.
Ruth holds a part-time Professor II position at WNUAS that involves her making several visits a year where she contributes to Master’s teaching on qualitative research methods and mentors research groups. She is joined in this endeavour by two other internationally recognised Professor II academics - Professor Anna Sfard (mathematics education: University of Haifa, Israel) and Professor Liora Bresler (music/arts-based research: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA).
Together, they are working with colleagues from the Stord campus at WNUAS and Karlstad University, Sweden, on a research application to the Norwegian Research Council that will aim to close the theory-practice gap.
For more information on Ruth’s areas of teaching and research expertise, see https://bit.ly/2v4BaIc
The annual Seminar Series started with Catherine Storey outlining her work on reading ability for disadvantaged children, using the Headsprout programme. Ger McCaddock (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, Dublin) explained how a universal design approach can improve services, access and inclusion across education, government and industry. Lucie Procházková (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) discussed the importance of employment for persons with disabilities.
Two MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis students published research from their Master’s theses with their supervisor, Katerina Dounavi. At the 12th ABAI Autism Conference in Miami, USA, Margaret Kirk presented their study on evidence-based behavioural strategies to improve the feeding habits of children with autism, while Emma Delemere published an article comparing parent-implemented bedtime fading and positive routines to support children with autism who have problematic sleep patterns.
A Multiplier Event took place in Łódz, Poland, organised by the Erasmus+ funded Job Coach for Persons with Disabilities project. Tracey Steele and Briege McGillian attended on behalf of the Centre and enjoyed a week learning together with other job coaches from France, Netherlands, Poland, and Germany.
The Centre for Children’s Rights has developed five short videos which provide an introductory overview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The videos, nine minutes in total, are targeted at professionals. They highlight: what the UNCRC is, and why it matters; where it came from; who rights-holders and duty-bearers are; what the UNCRC says; and how it is made ‘real’.
Laura Lundy was invited by the Taiwanese government to sit on an expert panel that reviewed Taiwan's compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Laura Lundy gave an invited presentation at an international conference on ‘Measuring the Effectiveness of Children’s Rights’ in Belgium.
Laura Lundy is now Co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights.
We have continued to host a range of engaging speakers: Professor Jonathan Todres, Georgia State University, USA, presented on ‘Human Rights Discourses in Children’s Literature’; Professor Phil Jones, University College London, presented on children’s experiences and perspectives on disadvantage; and Professor Daniel Monk from Birkbeck College, University of London, spoke on the theme of ‘School Dress Codes’.
In February, the Centre hosted Dr Dafna Yitzhaki from Tel Aviv University/Kibbutzim College, who is involved in research and development of shared education projects in Israel. Dr Yitzhaki’s visit provided opportunities to share research and practice from Northern Ireland and Israel, develop future collaborative projects, and visit shared education initiatives in Fermanagh.
In February, Centre Director Joanne Hughes attended a UNESCO event at Queen’s University where UNESCO Chairs from across the UK and Ireland heard about Northern Ireland’s world-leading research on education, peacebuilding and human rights. See more at UNESCO colloquium article above.
In March, Joanne Hughes was an invited participant at the Salzburg Global Seminar on Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education. This event brought together academics, development agencies and philanthropic organisations to consider how to address current priorities for research, policy and communications in these areas.
April saw the final meetings of the ESRC-funded Education in Divided Societies project in Sarajevo and Vukovar. Led by the Centre for Shared Education, this project involves stakeholders from five countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Northern Ireland – in sharing learning and developing plans for shared education initiatives in each country.
The Disability Research Network (DRN) is delighted to be involved in three grant awards in Northern Ireland as part of the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a £5 million scheme led by disabled people and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
In March, the DRN welcomed Professor Vicki Graf, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and Kristin Wright, the California State Director of Special Education. They took part in a round table discussion aimed at sharing knowledge and best practice on education for children with disabilities in both California and Northern Ireland. In attendance were academics, school representatives, policymakers and representatives from NGOs working in the area.
Bronagh Byrne gave an invited presentation at Stormont Buildings in January, on the implications of the recommendations from UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities following its examination of the UK. Also in attendance was Coomaravel Pyaneandee, Vice Chair of the UN Committee.
Doctoral student David Jackson-Perry presented a paper entitled 'Challenging Behaviour? Autism, Sexuality, and the Mythical Norm' at the 3rd International Disability Studies Conference in Amsterdam. David is also co-organising a conference at Birmingham University, entitled ‘Intimate Lives? Autism, Sex/uality, Gender and Identity’.
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) academic Alison MacKenzie (second left) was the recipient of a surprise award at this year’s Queen’s University Staff Excellence Awards. The ICARE award (inspired by Queen’s Core Values: Integrity, Connected, Ambition, Respect and Excellence) was awarded to Alison as recognition of her ambassadorial embodiment of these values as a work colleague and as an inspiring leader of and advocate for her students.
Speaking of her award, a very shocked Alison acknowledged the warmth of feeling behind the nominations, adding: 'Words to express my gratitude and sense of humility elude me but I’m very, very honoured, and simply stunned, to receive this award.'
In addition to being Director of our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Alison teaches on our Masters in Inclusion and Special Needs Education, where she applies philosophical approaches to understanding questions of social justice.
Head of the School of SSESW, Professor Carl Bagley, commented on Alison’s award on behalf of School colleagues: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Dr Alison MacKenzie was the recipient of the special ICARE Award at the Staff Excellence Awards. It is always gratifying when a colleague, who many in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work know to professionally embody Queen's key core values, is given institutional-wide recognition of this kind.’
You can read more about Alison MacKenzie’s teaching, research and publications at http://bit.ly/2FAzNpB
For more information email Dr Alison MacKenzie@qub.ac.uk or tel +44(0)2890975930
Our Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT) is funded by the Department of Education to enhance and support language teaching and learning in Northern Ireland. In February NICILT hosted a simulated trade fair for over 120 Key Stage 3 pupils of French. The event, ‘Francofest’, was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and entailed pupils from over 30 post-primary schools selling products or marketing a French-speaking town in French to their peers and independent judges.
The event aimed to increase students’ confidence and motivation for French, highlight the usefulness of language skills in business today and foster closer relationships between schools, higher education and business. The team from Bangor Academy (pictured) won the top prize for their trade stand which sold crêpes and chocolate cups and stemmed from their study of the poem, ‘Déjeuner du Matin’, by Prévert.
In February and March NICILT organised the Northern Ireland A-level Spanish, German and French Debates which were attended by over 200 pupils from 28 post-primary schools. These competitions are supported by the Cercle Français de Belfast and the Spanish and German embassies in the UK and are especially designed to support AS and A2 language studies. Pupils gain enhanced speaking and listening skills in their chosen language as well as social skills and public-speaking experience, which, in turn, improve their employability.
In March NICILT ran a continuing professional development event for principals of 20 post-primary schools. The event was organised in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut London, the UK-German Connection and the German Embassy, London, and focused on how to support and sustain German in post-primary schools. Principals gained insight into new initiatives and cross-curricular activities between schools and young people in the UK and Germany that can be introduced into their curricula.
Ian Collen is a Lecturer in Education and convenes our Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Modern Languages. He is also Director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT), funded by the Department of Education and based at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW).
I remember, aged 12, sitting in Miss Conn’s German class at Lurgan Junior High School and thinking to myself ‘I love languages and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life’. I believe passionately in the value of languages on the school curriculum and the opportunities afforded to young people through exposure to other cultures.
After a Master’s degree in French and German at the University of St Andrew’s in Scotland and a year teaching as a language assistant in Germany, I was appointed to a post as Teaching Fellow at the University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle. I taught English language at all levels of the undergraduate degree programme. Living in the centre of Paris was one of the most formative times of my life. The wine wasn’t bad either! I then moved back to Northern Ireland and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Queen’s University. I did a Master of Teaching degree at Stranmillis whilst teaching full-time at Ballyclare High School. I took up my lectureship at the School of SSESW at Queen’s in 2015.
I loved the classroom and people often ask me why I left school teaching. I don’t see it that way. I see myself as a school teacher who is interested in research and, through my roles in the School of SSESW, I have a wonderful opportunity to influence policy and practice for modern languages teaching in this part of the world. Every day is different, from lecturing at Queen’s to visiting student teachers on placement in schools to attending and presenting at international conferences. My PGCE Modern Languages students are excellent linguists with infectious enthusiasm, a real pleasure to work with, and I know that the future of language teaching is in good hands.
My research and scholarly activity focuses on languages education, teacher identity and early professional development. I have, to date, received external funding to undertake research in primary to post-primary transition in languages and pupil leadership programmes in schools.
In my spare time I am learning Spanish, I enjoy travelling around Europe and I spend a lot of time entertaining Spencer, my German miniature Schnauzer!
An international seminar entitled ‘Responding to Injecting Drug Use Conference – an exploratory conversation’ was organised by our Drug and Alcohol Research Network (DARN), the Extern charity and the Belfast Drugs and Alcohol Coordination Team Connections Service (BDACT). The conference was hosted at Queen’s University in February and was created in response to the rise in injecting drug use occurring in public spaces and facilities in cities, including Belfast.
Featuring leading global experts, the event explored ways in which to manage and respond to the issue of public injecting. Speakers included Professor Pat O’Hare of Liverpool John Moore’s University and Harm Reduction International (Chair) and Dr Magdalena Harris, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, both of whom have expert understanding and knowledge of the subject of drugs use.
The keynote speaker was Professor Carl Hart (pictured) of Colombia University in New York. His research focuses on the behavioural and neuro pharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs. He is particularly interested in social and psychological factors which influence the self-administration of drugs. He uses his research as a scientific basis for his worldwide presentations on the importance of decriminalizing drugs.
Anne Campbell and Kathryn Higgins, co-directors for our Drugs and Alcohol Research Network, are currently working with the Extern Drug and Alcohol Consultancy Service to create a PGDip/Master’s in Substance Use Disorders. Carl Hart is working with our academic team to create an international perspectives module and will contribute to online teaching as part of the new programme. The programme, which will utilise a blended learning approach, will be available to local national and international candidates who are interested in working with substance use.
For more information email Dr Anne Campbell or tel +44(0)2890975990
A large contingent of staff and students from our Centre for Behaviour Analysis (CBA) attended the 9th conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in Paris, France. It was a great opportunity for them to catch up with our significant number of distance learning PhD and MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) international students and to outline the highlights of our courses to new potential students among the 500+ delegates.
Many of the Centre’s presentations and posters focussed on using applied behaviour analytic procedures to support children with autism and their families. For example, research fellows and doctoral students reported on the use of technology in Ireland to help children with severe intellectual disabilities learn to read and, in Scotland, how to be safe around water. They reported on methods to get non-verbal children in India to speak for the first time, as well as the application of behaviour analysis in China and a study carried out in Canada on the use of parent training to support toddlers.
Our MScABA students presented their work on addressing public health concerns in France and on the use of Response Interruption and Redirection to reduce vocal and/or motor stereotypy and to enhance appropriate vocalizations as well as using behaviour analytic principles to toilet train children with autism. In addition, staff took part in a discussion about the use of behaviour analytic processes to support military veterans in the United States, particularly in Alaska, who experienced post-traumatic stress.
The conference offered a great opportunity to showcase the international nature of the Centre’s research, Master’s courses and PhD programmes, and their continued significant real-life impact across the globe.
For more information email Professor Karolla Dillenburger or tel +44(0)2890975985
SSESW colleagues Tony Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Gareth Robinson hosted a visit in March of Arab, Jewish and Orthodox Jewish principals from Jerusalem who visited Queen’s University and Northern Ireland schools to learn about the Shared Education model and its practical operation in schools.
Tony, Gavin and Gareth have been working with the Center for Education Technology (CET) in Tel Aviv for five years on school collaboration. During that period a number of school partnerships involving Jewish and Arab schools in Israel have been supported by CET, working with an adapted model of the Shared Education approach developed in Northern Ireland.
For the past four years the SSESW colleagues have been working collaboratively with the Education Authority in Jerusalem to support school principals from Arab, Jewish and Orthodox Jewish schools who are interested in exploring opportunities for working together.
The visit in March was the third cohort of principals from Jerusalem who have taken part in a week-long visit to Northern Ireland to learn more about the Shared Education model and visit school partnerships to see Shared Education in practice. They visited primary and post-primary schools in Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Antrim and Ballynahinch. They also had a tour of Belfast and of Queen’s University, and heard presentations from our Centre for Shared Education and the Education Authority. Our Jerusalem visitors say they always draw inspiration from the example provided by principals, teachers and students in Northern Ireland and our local schools, in turn, find inspiration in this international interest in their work.
For more information email Dr Gavin Duffy@qub.ac.uk or tel +44(0)2890975260
At a Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences event in February, a number of our international students were officially recognised as trained International Student Ambassadors. They are Mohammad Naji Alyamani (Doctorate of Education: TESOL), Salwa Ahmed Khan Mohamed Akbar (MSc TESOL) and Rui Ma (TESOL), pictured above at the Faculty event.
There are 90 ambassadors across the University. They are a very enthusiastic group of students who are all very positive about their experiences of studying at Queen’s and living in Northern Ireland.
Welcoming the ambassadors to their new roles, Aisling O’Boyle, Acting Director of Internationalization noted: ‘We are incredibly fortunate in the School of SSESW to have a very active international student body who, alongside all our students, seek to make a social difference here in Northern Ireland and everywhere. With their experience and expertise, our new International Student Ambassadors will be able to offer a real insight into life and study at Queen’s.’
The University’s ambassador programme involves working in varied roles to support and promote Queen’s University through activities such as leading campus tours, meeting agents, writing blogs and making videos. The Student Ambassador role includes access to free professional development courses, networking opportunities for career planning and experiences that help students to develop transferable skills. For many Student Ambassadors it brings opportunities to represent the international study body at significant University events.
Mohammad, from Saudi Arabia (back row, left), commented on his new role: ‘Being an International Ambassador for Queen’s University Belfast has opened up a lot of opportunities for me, such as being trained professionally and getting to know Queen’s staff members and colleagues from other Schools. I am confident that such a programme will have a great reflection on both international students and the University in terms of internationalisation and promoting the University all over the globe.’
In addition to our wide ranging seminar series, (see https://tinyurl.com/y9odppov) SSESW colleagues lead important network activities in their respective fields, contributing to improving practice in local and global arenas. The following are a sample of just a few events over recent months:
Winter 2018/19: PDF (1 MB)
Summer 2018: PDF (1MB)
Winter 2017/18: PDF (957KB)
Summer 2017 pdf (566KB)
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11